Clint Stoy is taking over Allen Community College’s baseball team this season, replacing Hall-of-Famer Val McLean. Coming off a two-year stint as Iowa Western Community College’s pitching coach — last season’s NJCAA national champions — Stoy is looking to establish a fundamental culture.
“My expectations are really just to establish a culture and way of doing things the right way. That’s really my only expectation,” Stoy said. “I want my guys to bring the two things that they can control on a daily basis, which is attitude and effort. We never talk about wins and losses, we talk about winners and losers. A game, in life, doesn’t define you.”
Last season, the Red Devils finished 14-37 overall and 8-28 in the Eastern Division of the KJCCC. That was good enough for eighth place out of 10 teams. Allen averaged 4.6 runs per game, last in conference. Stoy said he won’t really be looking at this year’s record to see success, but looking to the players’ effort on the field.
“I want to establish a brand of baseball that’s being played, that you know every time you play Allen you’re going to get that — that brand of baseball,” Stoy said.
The team’s greatest strength is its defense, according to Stoy.
“We’re not as deep on the mound or as offensive as I’d like, but we’re going to really compete,” he said. “I think that’s going to be one of our strengths — our competitiveness. I never feel that with this group, we are out of a game.”
The team has no returning players who saw considerable playing time last season. Stoy said local talents Hunter Murrow, Humboldt High 2014, and Derrick Weir, Iola High ’14, will see a lot of action this season.
“I think both are very competitive. They’re not major league baseball prospects by any stretch of the imagination, but they’re definitely two of the most competitive guys on the team,” Stoy said. “Their will to get things done is special.”
The Red Devils start the season against a handful of national powers. Their first game will be on the road against 2013 NJCAA National Champion Murray State College on Saturday as part of a doubleheader. Things don’t get any easier in game two, when the Red Devils play perennial playoff threat Des Moines Area Community College.
On Sunday, the team wraps up its four-game start with a doubleheader against Seminole State College. Stoy said Seminole State is a club that’s respected throughout the country. All three teams that ACC plays are ranked.
All 35 players on Allen’s roster will see playing time this upcoming weekend.
“I’m not going to play the same nine guys for 56 games, I’m not going to do it. We’re probably going to have 14-16 guys that contribute all year long,” Stoy said. “I’m not going to play one guy every game of the season. That’s just not going to happen. They got through a grueling fall.
“I told them the other day, ‘hey, if you made it through the fall, you’re going to get your slice of the pie. Some guys’ slices are going to be bigger than others, but that’s just based on performance and not what I think about you.’”
Allen’s first home game of the season could be its toughest when they host No. 1 ranked Western Iowa for a doubleheader on Feb. 20. It’s also Stoy’s former club.
Stoy said he already sees the team becoming tight-knit.
“Our guys are a family at this point, they’ve proven that. This group has really gelled,” Stoy said. “They’re very special. I’ve been around a lot of baseball clubs and this group has really come together as a family better than a lot of the clubs I’ve been around as a player or coach.”
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